Chicago Albums Ranked

Chicago is an American rock band formed in 1967 in Chicago, Illinois, calling themselves the Chicago Transit Authority in 1968 before shortening the name in 1969. The self-described “rock and roll band with horns” blended elements of classical music, jazz, R&B, and pop music. They began writing songs with politically charged lyrics, and later moved to a softer sound, generating several hit ballads. The group had a steady stream of hits throughout the 1970s and 1980s. In September 2008, Billboard ranked Chicago at number thirteen in a list of the top 100 artists of all time for Hot 100 singles chart success and ranked them at number fifteen on the same list produced in October 2015. Billboard also ranked Chicago ninth on the list of the 100 greatest artists of all time in terms of Billboard 200 album chart success in October 2015. Chicago is one of the longest-running and most successful rock groups, and one of the world’s best-selling groups of all time, having sold more than 100 million records. In 1971, Chicago was the first rock act to sell out Carnegie Hall for a week. o date, Chicago has sold over 40 million units in the U.S., with 23 gold, 18 platinum, and eight multi-platinum albums. They have had five consecutive number-one albums on the Billboard 200 and 20 top-ten singles on the Billboard Hot 100. In 1974 the group had seven albums, its entire catalog at the time, on the Billboard 200 simultaneously. The group has received ten Grammy Award nominations, winning one for the song, “If You Leave Me Now.”The group’s first album, Chicago Transit Authority, released in 1969, was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2014. Chicago was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016. In 2017, Peter Cetera, Robert Lamm, and James Pankow were elected to the Songwriters Hall of Fame for their songwriting efforts as members of the music group. Chicago will receive a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020. Here are Chicago albums ranked.

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1o.Chicago VIII (1975)

” I think the music on “Chicago VIII” is marvelous, with the band having lost nothing in musical power (at least not yet—the 80’s hadn’t happened yet). “Chicago VIII” is chock-full of great songs, performances, and the band show amazing musicianship throughout. Even future cheesemaster Peter Cetera is still a bassist, singer, & songwriter to be reckoned with on this album. Cetera’s “Any Way You Want” is a fun, bopping tune, and his all-out rocker, “Hideaway”….wow, who knew the guy had it in him to just plain *rock out*? Impressive, Peter! Robert Lamm’s “Never Been In Love Before” is an absolutely gorgeous song (and I’m astounded Chicago never released it as a single) while his Randy Newman-esque “Harry Truman” is great fun, and “Ain’t It Blue,” sung by Cetera and Terry Kath, is a great groover, as is “Long Time No See.” And speaking of the late, great Terry Kath, his work on “Chicago VIII” is tremendous—“Brand New Love Affair,” the short-but-sweet “Till We Meet Again,” and the god-rock of “Oh, Thank You Great Spirit”….fabulous. “

9.Chicago XI (1977)

“This album “XI” marks the end of a signature”Chicago” .Terry Kath having lost to “Russian roulette”, I can no longer find my “musical account” .Although the other albums (one must have arrived at XXXII at least) are not uninteresting.The “I, II, III and IV” could almost close their discography already so rich. others”, “Chicago Transit Authority” is part of what we do (did…) best in a style named by the critics of the time “Rock-jazz”. In this opus “Dominic Frontiere” (a very prolific composer for TV “the invaders” and others), signs a rather unexpected and well coming piece that makes the intro of two tracks and all this fits perfectly. are essential (the IX being a compilation). And most importantly, don’t forget the elusive , a speculative monument!”

8.Chicago X (1976)

“Chicago X is an incredibly diverse album: driving rock and roll (Once or Twice, Scrapbook), Samba (You Are on My Mind), Funk (Skin Tight, You Get It Up), pop ballad (If You Leave Me Now, Mama Mama), pop rock (Together Again), Jazzy Latin (Another Rainy Day in NYC), acoustic rock (Gently I’ll Wake You), acoustic ballad (Hope for Love), bossa nova (Your Love’s an Attitude). It’s nice to rediscover this Terry Kath-era gem.”

7.Chicago 17 (1984)

“Wikipedia says this is their most successful ’80s album. I’m not surprised as this is also my favorite album from 16-21. Almost all the songs are awesome.”

6. Chicago III (1971)

“This thrilling 1971 album by Chicago is the last to feature the lengthy song-cycle suites that characterized their 1969-1971 output. Bringing together aspects of jazz rock, progressive rock (as it existed in 1971), acid rock, and avant-garde influences, this also may be their most experimental album – unlike the first two albums, there were no smash hits on Chicago III.”

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5.Chicago VI (1973)

“Great classic album, and very nice sounding re-master. These guys just kicked ass at the R&R Hall of fame ceremony, but they are FAR better on this album. Get the MoFi ‘Chicago Transit Authority’ too. Also great sounding.”

4.Chicago VII (1974)

“This 1974 album is another marvel from the ever-creative and everlasting band, Chicago. The flood of popular hits they racked up in the 5 previous years must have frightened them. On this album, they plunged headlong into jazz. The first 5 tracks are jazz instrumentals, in many flavors along the way: exotic, playful, breezy, bluesy, abstract, frantic, R&B, polished and clubby. But they did not forget about the mainstream either. They managed to include adult contemporary ballads and a couple of brighter mid-tempo numbers, more upbeat in mood. There are some lively, funked-up tracks, including my favorite track, Robert Lamm’s very cool “Life Saver”. I like everything about this track: the percolating beat; the manic, then pounding, bass; the sexy horn arrangement; the vocal harmony; and the lyrics (“You’re a life saver honey/I’m a lot braver too/You’re a life saver baby/Do anything for you.”)”

3.Chicago V (1972)

“Great tunes, tight arrangements, killer playing, and a band at its best: these are the elements of CHICAGO V. As (arguably) my favorite Chicago release, the recent Rhino remaster is very much welcome.”

2. Chicago Transit Authority (1969)

“One of the first albums I bought, along with Sgt Pepper and Deep Purple In Rock. I grew up with rock and pop in the 60s, but CTA introduced me to jazz-rock and big band music. This is a wonderful collection of rock, pop and jazz tracks, with politically tinged lyrics (that would not be out of place in today’s USA) and excellent musicianship – Terry Kath’s guitar solo on Poem 58 is an absolute highlight, and the song-writing, ensemble playing and brass arrangements are outstanding throughout.”

1.Chicago II (1970)

“Chicago II is a magnificent piece of work, but it’s always been betrayed by its flat, muddy sound. No longer. Master musician Steven Wilson has built a prosperous side career as a redeemer of cruddy sounding records and this had to be his toughest test yet. He pulled it off with flying colors. Chicago II’s formerly flat and muddy is now crisp, clear, and full. Chicago needs to get their management on the ball getting these new versions of “25 or 6 to 4,” “Make Me Smile,” and “Colour My World” to radio (and the remixed album to streaming services) so the world can hear this music the way it was meant to be heard. Thanks, Steven Wilson.”